Content Classifiers Glom Onto Google

Google Search Engine integration could enhance the profile of data classification wares

October 24, 2006

4 Min Read
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A growing roster of companies specializing in data classification and search are looking to Google to help them enhance their wares -- and vice versa. The results could boost IT pros' ability to find and manage stored information -- as long as the suppliers follow through.

Today, for instance, startup Mathon Systems unveiled plans to integrate its data forensics software with Google's Search Appliance, as part of Google's Enterprise Professional Program. (See Mathon Joins Google.)

Mathon's software, called Integral, runs on x86 Windows or Linux servers to locate more than 250 metadata items in content situated on other servers and NAS arrays. This metadata is used to audit, classify, and control images, spreadsheets, and a range of other documents. For example, an audit trail is set up to include details about the location of documents, who has worked on them, and when. Policies can be set up to obtain data, to issue reports on it, and to control access to it.

By paying its $10,000 to sign up with Google, Mathon hopes to enhance these capabilities for a specific segment -- enterprises in financial services. (See Google Bangs Application Drum and Google One-Ups Intranet Search.)

"We'll feed our metadata into Google for more sophisticated searches," says Mathon CEO and cofounder Angus MacDonald. He says Mathon execs have identified financial companies that are either using or intend to use Google's Search Appliance on their corporate Intranets. While he's not revealing which ones Mathon's targeting, Google's Website reveals 14 financial customers for its enterprise products, including the Search Appliance. These include American Express, Bank One, the Chicago Board of Trade, GMAC Commercial Mortgage, Royal Bank of Canada, Sequoia Capital, and Bancorp Bank, to name a few.Mathon wants the Google Search Appliance to recognize documents that have been tagged by Mathon and to deploy the metadata Mathon's gathered in its searches. Indeed, Mathon, which is still getting on its feet with fewer than 20 employees and a handful of paying customers, requires a search engine to make use of the metadata it finds and assembles.

Right now, the company ships Integral with Apache's open-source Lucene search engine. The Google integration, execs hope, will give it greater entr in enterprise environments.

Mathon has no date set for delivery of Google integration.

Other companies are also in various stages in the Google program -- many, it appears, merely in the talking stage. Evidence of actual content management products to emerge from the program is scant, though of over 40 companies that have announced their participation, several are in archiving or data classification. These include Avamar, Kazeon, Solix, and StoredIQ. (See Kazeon Gets $21M Venture Boost, Avamar Joins Google Program, and Kazeon Joins Google Program.)

It's also tough to get a sense of actual demand for this kind of solution. A Google spokesman claims the company has over 5,000 customers for the Google Search Appliance and Google Mini. But he says there's no information on customers that have integrated the Google Search Engine via partners.Kazeon is one firm that's finished the work. It offers Google integration as an option for its Information Servers at no extra charge. Kazeon's VP of solution marketing, Michael Marchi, says that he sees the integration being used at customers' sites -- though he won't say much about the scope of actual demand.

"We are finding that, as we get evaluated, a number of these customers are already using the Google [Search Appliance] device, which is optimized for Intranet and Portal sites," Marchi writes in an email today. "We index and enable files to be searched. The interest is in enabling companies to expand their search capabilities beyond what the device delivers to go deep into the enterprise such that a user can enter a single query in a familiar Google interface and obtain the combined results from both the portal site and from all the files we've indexed."

Marchi says at least one government agency, the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is deploying the Kazeon/Google combination. He says this enables the Google device to send a request to the Kazeon appliance, which sends back the results of all files that match the search criteria: "The results are presented to the user in a single screen... This integration adds value for GSA customers and provides customers with the ability to search wider and deeper."

Another aupplier, Solix, today made its ArchiveJinni with Google Enterprise search product generally available, six months after announcing its partnership with Google. (See Solix Integrates With Google.)

As is the case with Mathon, Google's appliance adds enterprise search to Solix's wares. Although ArchiveJinni classifies and archives structured data, files, and e-mail, it is used primarily for archiving databases, competing with products from Applimation, Hewlett-Packard, and Princeton Softech. (See Archivers Prepare for Upgrades .) Google Search will let Solix customers search and index the data in its archives. There is no news, however, of any customer deployments.It will take evidence of adoption to demonstrate widespread use of the Google Search Appliance as an enterprise content management solution. Still, the news trickling out is intriguing. More is likely to come on this front as the popularity of enterprise search heats up.

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, and Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Avamar Technologies Inc.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

  • Kazeon Inc.

  • Mathon Systems Inc.

  • Solix Technologies Inc.

  • StoredIQ Corp.

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